Explore jungles, overcome massive guardians and discover lost treasure as you explore this dangerous island.
Lost Ruins of Arnak is a competitive worker-placement, deck-building game with a lot of resource management. It’s been getting a lot of buzz recently and for good reason. At first glance, Arnak looks overwhelming but with clever use of icons and a very well streamlined gameplay, it is a cinch to learn. If I were to drastically oversimplify this game, I would say play will be spending their turns collecting basic resources, turning them into more valuable resources, then turning those into victory points. But again, a drastic oversimplification.
Each player in Lost Ruins of Arnak is competing to earn the most points by the end of the 5th round. Points are earned through cards that players will collect, ruins they will explore, guardians they will encounter, and through research. Any collected token or card will note how many points it is worth by the purple icon, usually in the lower right. Which, again, sounds like a lot, but I promise is not as overwhelming as it might seem at first. Each player begins with a small collection of resource tokens and hand of cards. They will use these tokens and cards to take their actions on their turn.
There are 5 resources players will collect: Compasses, Gold, Tablets, Arrowheads and Gems. At the bottom of the game board, there are 5 sites the players can move their workers in order to collect those resources. But in order to do that, they must first be able to travel to that site. There are 4 methods of travel, by foot, car, boat or plane. By discarding a card from their hand with one such symbol, the player will be able to move one of their workers to that site and collect those resources.
Once collected, resources are often spent in three ways: exploring new sites, buying new cards, or research. Exploring new sites is fairly straightforward. By spending the resources required, a player can discover a new site further inland on the island. A new site card is placed on one of the blank spaces and becomes available for all players. But in doing so, the player who made the discovery keeps the Idol token there, which is worth some points.
Players will also be able to buy new cards to add to their deck, which will provide additional resources and travel icons for them to use, as well as the occasional fancy ability. The most fanciest cards are the artifact cards which must be “bought” by spending Compasses, instead of Gold.
Finally, players can do research will can net big points in the end. By spending unique combinations of resources, players will be able to move their 2 tokens up the Research track. Each row earns a good number of points, but reaching the end of the track and reaching the temple at the end can earn huge points!
Like I mentioned up top, this is a lot to absorb at once. But thanks to the very clear and well implemented use of icons and tokens, this game is very digestible by even the least seasoned of veteran players. With a game having so many moving parts, you’d expect some complicated gameplay, but Arnak is so much more approachable than other games of equal or greater strategy without losing out of any of it.
It is available now, but good luck finding a copy anywhere. I’ve been looking…
Lost Ruins of Arnak – $60 – Available Now
On an uninhabited island in uncharted seas, explorers have found traces of a great civilization. Now you will lead an expedition to explore the island, find lost artifacts, and face fearsome guardians, all in a quest to learn the island’s secrets.
Lost Ruins of Arnak combines deck building and worker placement in a game of exploration, resource management, and discovery.
- 1 – 4 Players
- 30 Min / Player
- Ages 12+
Thanks for reading!